Not a fan of his but he writes one helluva book. It is just a really good book and I don't think I have any negatives except that the third book needs to be out faster...
An interesting alternative to the way Gettysburg actually played out but poorly developed. Much too bloody. The authors are more interested in describing the grusomeness of battle than the larger ideas/dilemas/problems facing the principal actors. This is afterall what most Civil War buffs are interested in.
I believe this was my first alternative history novel. At first I thought the concept interesting and believed it would be very entertaining. I now have decided it wasn't that enjoyable and it isn't likely that I will buy the second in the series. I found myself second guessing and disagreeing with the authors. The narration was excellent.
I am a retired US Army Soldier. I retired in 2008 and have developed an insatiable need for Civil War History.
Newt labels this work as "Active History", at first I was skeptical because I am so keenly aware of the actual history of the Civil War but I loved this book and the entire series. There was something refreshing to be listening to familiar historical characters doing unexpected things... This is not history but it is VERY entertaining..!!
This account is so detailed that it left me somewhat confused. I am not a Civil War buff so trying to keep track of the characters and just where they were geographically was very difficult for me. I assume that the personalities involved were based on fact and their personalities added greatly to the background of the decisions and action.
I did feel let down at the end as the book did not actually have the end of the battle and the famous Picket charge and subsequent Lincoln speech.
Tom Stechschulte did a great job in the narration particularly the fast pace of the battle scenes.
I gather there is a sequel which I must find.
have not listened to previous books
due to the sensitive nature of the subject probably not. No use in reliving the pain that has been hard to put behind us.
An excellent alternative history of the turning point in the Civil War. The battle scenes are vivid and the troop movements and tactical decisions upon which they were based are clearly described. The description of General Henry Hunt's artillery defense of Cemetery Hill during July 1, 1863 is based on fact. Hunt's actions are little noted in most histories that I have read. One source describes Hunt as the ``unknown hero of Gettysburg.'' The narrator does an excellent job in giving each character a distinctive voice and he added to my enjoyment of ``Gettysburg: A Novel.'' I look forward to listening to and reading the next two novels in the series.
Full disclosure- I am a military history buff and I have read many of the what if's of Gettysburg plus numerous hard cover books on the Civil War (I tend to listen to fiction on audible). With Newt Gingrich as author, and my distaste for him (he irritates me) and his politics (which I find distasteful) I ALMOST did not purchase this and listen.
This would have been a huge mistake. It is well done- and having toured the battlefield (as part of a staff ride for two days) and read at least 2 dozen books on the campaign and at least three or four what-if books- I found this book compelling. It is a little Lee worshipful (over the top) but if one overlooks this - the players in the book behave within expected and historical boundaries (Meade is a plodder and works by consensus- whilst Lee, who was incapacitated to some degree to an intestinal disorder, probably mild dystentery during the actual campaign) act within these bounds. Lee, as he did at Chancellorsville and Second Mannassas takes charge and leads from the front.
Stuart is recalled early (plausibly) whilst Lee executes his ideal of a flanking march within the operational theater. I could follow all of the movements in my head (having walked the battlefield twice over a six day period) an even knew where Big Pipe Creek was (and Longstreets thinking regarding such). However a non expert would have problem following this- and someone not versed in civil war military history (and this campaign) might find it tedious and confusion.
Other than the undeserved hagiography of Lee (a construct of the post civil war) this is a flawless exercise in fictional history.
One may agree with or totally hate Newt Gingrich on political issues but is has to be admitted that he is a well informed historian, especially with regard to the Civil War. This novel dramatizes a commonly asked "why" and "what-if" question about Lee's behavior at Gettysburg
and follows up with what might have happened if he had decided differently.
Best if you know something of the Civil War and Gettysburg in particular but OK even if you do not. Well written, well performed, and entertaining. If you are a fan of either Civil War history or alternative history novels and are a liberal, don't let your dislike of Gingrich interfere with enjoying a good book!
I have now listened to the second book in the trilogy (as good if not better) and am starting the third. I also plan to buy the freestanding book about the Battle of the Crater.
I think so based on the Valley Forge novel, but not based on this one.
It was an endless series of detailed descriptions of battles, one battle described pretty much like the rest.